Four Points Sheraton Havana, an Honest Review

As one of the only chain hotels in Havana, the Four Points by Sheraton is in a very unique position to cater to the wants and needs of international travelers looking for a brand that they can trust.

Being that the Four Points just came into existence in July, there weren’t any online reviews to fall back on. The hotel was formerly known as the “Hotel Quinta Avenida” (fifth avenue hotel) and became a joint venture between the government of Cuba and Starwood.

How we booked it

The hotel is bookable via Starwood’s page, and is PRE-PAY only. Note that all reservations made with Starwood can’t be changed, modified, or altered in any way once booked. This ended up being a sore spot for me, as the rate for the room dropped $45 a night just three days before our arrival. When I called to ask for a refund, none was offered, considering that it was a non-refundable rate.

How to get there

The hotel is about a 20-25 minute drive from the airport and easy enough to get to, but you have to know how to talk to the taxi driver. Most drivers don’t have it programmed into their heads yet that the “Four Points” is in existence, and since Four Points doesn’t really roll off the tongue in Spanish, it can be quite confusing. If you let them know it’s the “old 5th avenue hotel” or the hotel “next to Memories in front of Melia Habana” they will find it no problem.

To make it easier, cut and paste this and print it out:

Four Points Sheraton, esta al lado del Memories en la Quinta Avenida y esta en frente del Melia Habana. Antes se llamaba Hotel Quinta Avenida.

That should make it 100% no problem for the taxi drivers to get you to where you’re going!

The signs outside of the airport as you’re driving around are pretty self-explanatory.

Havana Cuba Signs

It translates to “A true example of Brotherhood…”

The branding is out in full force as you drive up.

Four Points Havana Hotel

Four Points Havana Hotel

But not so much on the inside…

The lobby is big with the check in desk off to the left hand side and as it was Christmas time (yes, it’s Christmas time until January 6th) the tree was still up in the lobby. As a fun side note, the morning of the 7th they started to take it down, as it should be.

We were not upgraded to a suite at check-in, which was kind of a let down, but then again, I’m not even sure that this hotel had suites.

The pictures of the hotel on the website made it look like a fancy Super 8. The sheets were old, the pillows flat, the curtains drab, and the place run down. When we walked into the room, I fully expected that experience.

Four Points Hotel Room, from http://fourpointshavana.com

Here’s what the beds looked like:

Four Points Havana Beds

Yup! Four Points branded sheets, comforters and pillows. The jury’s still out on the mattresses, as I found them comfortable but Ben’s was a bit lumpy.

Off to the side was a seating area and coffee machine, but no where in the room was there coffee to make!

Four Points Havana Coffee Machine

There was an in room safe and beach towels…

Four Points Havana Safe and Towels

Robe and plenty of closet space…

Four Points Havana

The bathroom has both a bathtub and shower, and both are equipped with a shower head and full Four Points supplies…

Four Points Havana Bathroom

Four Points Havana Bathroom

The view from the room was towards the water and offered a great view of the sunset.

Four Points Havana Sunset Four Points Havana Sunset

There was a little note from management and a bottle of Havana Club rum saying “Thank you so much for choosing us. We wish you a most pleasant stay!” That bottle made went straight into the luggage. A great touch!

Four Points Havana Welcome Touch

Stay Connected

As platinum members with Starwood, we received free WIFI at check-in. It comes in 6-hour blocks, and since it’s included, when you run out just tell the front desk and they’ll give you another 6-hour code. We only ran out the last night, and that’s probably because we had no reason to be conservative with the WIFI. Six hours should be MORE than enough for most people, as when you turn off the WIFI signal, it shuts off your session.

Four Points Havana WiFi Internet Code

Room Comfort

The thermostat was another adventure. Everything except the on button was inverted. In other words, if you wanted AC, you had to put the bar to the hot setting. If you wanted 3 fan speed, you had to put it on 1, and if you want it frigid, drag the circle to point at the 35 degree mark. Again, the one thing that I’ve learned while in a foreign country is to just “go with it.”

Four Points Havana Thermostat

Hotel Breakfast

Breakfast the next morning was a bit of a let down, but I think that has more to do with the accessibility of food in Cuba, rather than the ability of the hotel to provide decent options. Food options are limited in Cuba, and they make do as best they can.

The hotel has 4 Cuban breakfast options…

Four Points Sheraton Havana Breakfast Options

Bread for days…

Four Points Sheraton Havana Breakfast Options

Four Points Sheraton Havana Breakfast Options

Two hot sections with assorted hot foods such as eggs, bacon, etc…

Four Points Sheraton Havana Breakfast Options

Four Points Sheraton Havana Breakfast Options

Two coffee machines (which actually put out a decent coffee)…

Four Points Sheraton Havana Breakfast Options

A fruit bar…

Four Points by Sheraton Havana Breakfast Options

And a meat/cheese station…

Four Points by Sheraton Havana Breakfast Options

You could choose to have your meal outside on the terrace or inside, but be forewarned, it does get hot during the mornings, so with no fans or AC, you’ll have to rely on a nice breeze if you decide for the terrace option.

Four Points Sheraton Havana Breakfast Terrace

The views can’t be beat though!

Four Points Sheraton Havana Breakfast Terrace

Spa and Fitness

There’s also a spa and fitness center with reasonably priced services. Fitness center access is free with your stay, but the Sauna is extra. Make sure to call an hour ahead so they can heat it up for you. The average cost for a 1 hour massage was around CUC25

Four Points Gym, from http://fourpointshavana.com

Shuttle into Havana

The hotel offers a very convenient shuttle service that runs on a set schedule to take you into the city. Departures are at (approx.) 8am, 11am, 2pm, and 7pm. Make sure to ask the front desk about the schedule so you don’t miss out. The taxi rides from the hotel to town run about 15 CUC each way, so if you can snag one of those into town, you’ll save a bundle.

Should you stay here?

The Four Points Sheraton Havana wasn’t the best value at $260 a night, and it is pretty far from the city. As long as you don’t mind taking a cab or the free hotel shuttle bus, this could be a solid way to earn points for your stay. We stayed for the three nights and earned a total of 3,986 points for our stay (including bonuses, etc). If you want to earn points in Havana, and want an experience that you know you’re going to get, then the Four Points is your place. 

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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10 Comments

  1. I’ve been to this property. The breakfast and coffee were disgusting. Front desk staff were great to horrible.

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    • Sounds like any property in the United States to me. How long ago did you go?

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  2. This review was really helpful! I was on the fence about staying there since the website photos made the rooms look so dated. While definitely overpriced, at least the rooms look better than expected!

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    • Thanks Joey. Yea I was pleasantly surprised about the room but it seems like they just need to update the website. Again, give it a chance. It’s a good property overall.

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  3. ‘Thanks for posting, I too was there at the same time you were and we stayed at the Hotel Nacional I loved it. I’m going back in April I’ll check this one out.

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  4. Great review, I born there and I travel very often to see my family, your review is very fair.

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  5. Airbnb right in centro viejo Habana for the win! 260 a night and have to take a shuttle? Ha! Waste of both time and money, IMHO. Go to Cuba and live with Cubanos and experience real Cuba, not imitation Cuba.

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    • After living in Miami for five years I got a lot of the real Cuba 🙂 if we went back I would consider doing the airbnb of cada particular but this first trip We decided to play it safe and make sure we got the good treatment

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  6. I also might add, since I have stayed there a few times that they have their own currency exchange counter which is a HUGE plus, since often times, the money exchange centers in the city can be quite crowded, especially when cruise ships are in town.
    Remember to take euros, or sterling, to avoid the 10% currency conversion fee on American dollars, which I still believe is in effect. The currency exchange center at the Sheraton, only carries the “CUC” money, (peso convertible,aka the tourist money), so if you want or need the local money, you will have to get that from an exchange center in town. Contrary to any belief, tourists may obtain such currency, either for collection/souvenirs, or in some very few places that only take local currency.

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    • Excellent advice! I can’t believe I forgot to mention that.

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